Jenson Button has won the Brazilian Grand Prix, having won the race at the start, a race in the middle and the race at the end. Sebastian Vettel also clinched the Championship by just 3 points in one of the best races in the history of the sport.
At lights out, the cars sped off the grid and pandemonium ensued. Massa had a fantastic start to vault into P2 right behind Hamilton while Fernando Alonso in the other Ferrari bypassed a really slow starting Sebastian Vettel to go into P4. Kimi Raikkonen got caught out on the long straight between turn 3 and turn 4 while Senna stuck his nose where it wasn’t wanted and ended up spinning Sebastian Vettel with quite a hefty shunt. A less than impressed Vettel reversed down into turn 5 while he waited for the grid to pass him so he could turn the right way round.
The damage looked terminal for the championship leader as Perez and Senna were forced to retire but the German was told there was nothing the team could do and he had to try his best to get points. To compound Vettel’s problems, Alonso was now past Massa and into P3. From here, Alonso would win the championship by two points. But never count out Vettel! Somehow, he managed to take his broken car and put in fast lap after fast lap and it was no time until he had caught the back of the pack again.
Alonso going wide into the tricky 1st corner gifted Webber P3 while Alonso rued his mistake. At this stage, Vettel would be champion. Vettel was storming and all of a sudden he was in P8! Alonso just did not have the pace and he had to rely heavily on his rear-gunner Massa who was right behind him and doing all he could to restrain the big line of drivers behind them.
Kamui Kobayashi was diving up the inside of Mark Webber in his best attempt to grab points and spun the Aussie in the process. The Red Bull driver was forced to wait for the rest of the grid to pass him before he could make the correct himself. Romain Grosjean was also struggling. The Frenchman was chasing down Nico Rosberg when ambition surpassed adhesion and he was sent out of the race and into the barrier with a heavy shunt. Not the way he would have wanted to end the season.
Up front, the McLaren duo of Hamilton and Button were scrapping away for the lead of the race. Button triumphed and took the lead of the race. He is always the best driver in the mixed conditions and the heavens were beginning to open. It was definetly the best race of the season and it was only lap 8!
Nico Hulkenberg and his Force India were on a charge through the grid and he didn’t need to be asked twice to pass Fernando Alonso. The German was now up to P3 and he was looking good. The backmarkers were also looking good with Heikki Kovalainen in P11 and Timo Glock in P12.
The rain was starting to affect the drivers and they opted to pit. Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel were amongst the first to pit while Button and Hulkenberg were promoted to P1 and P2 respectively with the latter looking menacing in Button’s mirrors. Webber and Vettel were involved in a scrap when they came out of the pits until the Aussie moved over for a plain and simple “Thank you” from his race engineer.
Back at the front, Nico Hulkenberg was acting as Button’s shadow and finally made it past him. The German was now leading the race! The irony of course is that Jordan’s last win was in Interlagos in 2003 and Force India are the remnants of Jordan. And if Hulkenberg could keep in the lead, He would be the 9th winner of the season!
A safety car was called out on for debris that was on track after all the incidents and everyone bunched back up. Nico Hulkenberg and Jenson Button were the big losers with the Safety Car depleting their 42 second lead. At the restart, Hulkenberg had a great start, pulling away from the pack, as Button had to fend off a racy Lewis Hamilton but couldn’t quite manage it and Hamilton stormed past.
Adrian Newey on the pitlane was looking at a picture of Vettel’s damage on his car and they were starting to look increasingly worried. Terminal problem for Vettel?
Vitaly Petrov spun himself into turn 8 but it was only a warm-up for Nico Hulkenberg drifting wide there on the next lap, a la Sebastian Vettel in Canada. Lewis Hamilton now lead the race. But it was really raining now and the drivers needed to pit. Strangely, Sebastian Vettel pitted for the Hard tires! Everyone, including Jenson Button were pitting for intermediates while Vettel took dry tires. Was it the right call? No. He was forced to come straight back in to change for intermediates a la Hamilton in Hungary 2011.
Kimi Raikkonen got caught out in the wet and went off the track at turn 12. Instead of trying to rejoin the track over the slippy green paint, he opted to go through the gap in the wall for recovering cars where he knew there was a place to rejoin the track. But he was wrong. He was forced to come back out of the marshall area and rejoin the track, loosing almost a minute in the process.
Nico Hulkenberg also got caught out in the wet conditions. and the back stepped out when he was overtaking Hamilton for the lead of the race and BOOM. Hamilton was left without a front right wheel and Nico Hulkenberg was left with a drive through penalty. Fernando Alonso was now up to P2 but Vettel was in P7 and soon let past Michael Schumacher for P6. Vettel would be champion.
Kobayashi spun his Sauber and Paul di Resta had a whopping crash into the barriers on the final straight which brought out a safety car. The race would finish behind a Safety Car and it did.